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5-E Integrated Subject Lesson Plan

Title of Lesson: How much energy is required to provide the tuna for a tuna sandwich?

Lesson Planners (names): Sandra Jenny (as part of Clarke/Shenandoah team)

School(s) & School Division (if applicable): D.G. Cooley Elementary, Clarke County

Grade Level: 5

Lesson specific Science & Math SOL (or other standards covered). Describe desired gains in
Knowledge/Skills/Behaviors for each, where applicable). These are your specific Learning Objectives
for the lesson.
Standards (list) Knowledge (Know) Skills (Do) Values (Be)
2.1 Counting
5.17 Patterns
5.8c Metric
3.17 Bar graphs

5.6c Ecological Ecological characteristics Investigation Appreciate how much
characteristics of Relationship among Discovery energy is involved just to
the ocean organisms Kinesthetic learning make a simple tuna
environment Food chains sandwich
3.5 Relationships Food webs
among organisms in Food pyramids
aquatic food chains Energy flow
3.6 Ecosystems
support a diversity
of plants and
animals that share
limited resources
4.5c Flow of
energy through
food webs

Level or Extent of Integration for this lesson Balanced Math & Science

Instructional time: One 60-minute class period

Materials needed: SmartBoard, example of a food chain from the previous day’s activity, example of
a food web; organism “Hello” cards on “necklace;” colored disks (red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
purple); kiddie pool or bucket; graph paper; food pyramid (printed or for display on SmartBoard;
multiplication charts/calculators for students with accommodations); can of tuna (dolphin-safe) for
display purposes only

Web resources used (if any; Give urls):

Advance preparation needed: Photocopy “Hello” cards (one for each student), laminate and place
on yarn “necklace” or place in cardholder on lanyard; follow information on chart to determine number
of colored disks or other color-coded representation needed

Formative: Engage: Student responses to review activity. Explore: How well students follow
instructions and stay focused on their “roles.” Graphing activity: Observations of students’ graphing
abilities. Explain: How well students follow along with guided calculations.
How will students demonstrate that they have achieved the lesson objective(s)? Evaluate: How
well students are able to transfer pattern to a new problem.
How will you judge whether your teaching strategy is effective? Student engagement. Ask
students through a follow-up survey.

Lesson Description (step-by-step teaching procedure):

Engage Share a marine food chain on the SmartBoard. Ask students if only one shark eats one
dolphin? Does one dolphin eat only one rockfish? Does the rockfish eat only one
anchovy? And so on? What does each organism represent? (population of a species)
Share a marine food web. What can you tell me about the web that is different from the
food chain? Record responses.
In both the chain and web, are each of the populations equally distributed throughout
the ecosystem?

Explore (Note: Attached are 17 cards. If there are more students in a class, the teacher can make
a second set of cards and determine which ones to use for this activity.)

Students go outside to a designated area that is the “ocean” and seat themselves in a
circle around a kiddie pool (or other container, like a bucket). The teacher explains that
each student will represent a marine organism and will be given a name tag with their
name and what they eat. Each student will also receive color-coded disks (or laminated
paper, pompoms, etc.) that represent individual organisms within their population. Use
the color-coded chart in the Attachment to determine the color disk each species
receives. Species such as the eel (Level 5 consumer) will only receive one disk; others,
like the scorpionfish, manta, and shark (Levels 3-4) will receive about 5; barnacles and
blennies (Levels 2-3) will receive about 10; and zooplankton and phytoplankton will get
20 or more. It is better that they receive more disks than fewer.

The teacher explains that s/he will call a student’s name (or class number). That student
will stand, introduce him/herself (“Hello, I am a Blenny”) and states what it eats (“and I
eat zooplankton”). Zooplankton stands and places one of its disks in the pool, then
introduces itself and states what it eats (“and I eat phytoplankton”). Phytoplankton
stands and places one of its disks in the pool, then introduces itself and states “and I use
nutrients and the sun’s energy to make my own food and produce oxygen.” Once the
chain has been tracked to the beginning (phytoplankton) all participants sit down.
Play continues in this manner until all students have been called and their food chain

Select a few students to collect all the disks from the pool. While they are counting up
each separate color, the teacher will ask the rest of the students to discuss their
observations on the activity.

Students will return to the classroom where a chart of the colors will be created. From
this data, students will create bar graphs. Start with yellow, then orange, red, purple,
blue, and green.

Explain Once graphed, students should be able to turn their graphs on their side to see a
pyramid with the phytoplankton on the bottom. Explain that this represents how much
energy is required at each level to feed the level of organisms above it. Have students
make observations based on this period.

Also explain that energy flows through a food web – it does not cycle through it. Share
and discuss the visual below.

On average, only 10% (1/10 or 0.10) of the energy from an organism is transferred to its
consumer. This means that a top-level consumer, such as a tuna (or a moray eel, as in
the activity), is supported by millions of primary producers from the base of the food
web or trophic pyramid.

Food webs throughout the world all have the same basic trophic levels. However, the
number and type of species that make up each level varies greatly between different
areas and different ecosystems.

Extend Suppose you wanted a tuna sandwich. How much energy would the tuna have required?
Have students notice a pattern in the information below. Have them explain how you
convert from grams to kilograms. Use individual white boards for students to calculate as
you describe each trophic level of the chart below.

NOTE: http://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Contexts/Life-in-the-Sea/Teaching-and-Learning-
Approaches/Build-a-marine-food-web has an amazing alternative activity.

Evaluate The following activity is taken from


Engage students by creating a scenario. Tell them that the tuna’s name is Charley. He is
very hungry and he wants to be a BIG tuna. (Charley doesn’t know that Starkist likes big
tunas!) Explain that we must help him by figuring out how much energy is needed at the
lower levels of the pyramid to support his big appetite. Explain that, starting from the
base of the pyramid, only 10% of the energy reaches the next level.

If Charley is 5 kilograms, how many grams of organisms at each of the lower levels is
needed to sustain him? Have students work in pairs to complete the pyramid, and solve
Charley’s problem. Have students share their work and conduct a discussion to clarify
their understanding of the process and correct any misconceptions.
Differentiation Strategies to meet diverse learner needs:

Attach Worksheets &/or Hand-outs, if applicable for this lesson

Homework Assigned (and applicable worksheets):